Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 71

Seeing as 90% of all medical research is flawed, (and no, this is not some crank - it's pretty much accepted in research because of the evidence, as well as researchers personal knowledge/experience of bad studies we need to test against placebos, because some of the supposedly beneficial treatments are later found to be harmful.

Remember thalidomide? Or more recently, the panic over hormone replacement therapy because the biggest, best trial of HRT ever was started prematurely because it purported to show harmful effects of estrogen? 10s of millions of women world-wide were suddenly put on antidepressants to help deal with menopause side-effects. Turns out that the study was bogus, but more than a decade later, many doctors still haven't got the memo.

The flaw in the study was in using only estrogen from pregnant mare urine (Premarin and Prempro). Equine estrogen is not bio-identical to human estrogen (estradiol estrogen is), but it also contains equine enzymes that the human body has never seen in nature and can't handle - which cause, among other things, liver failure. Having horse enzymes in your blood, your organs, your brain ... that's going to cause problems. Also, progestins were included in HRT even though not needed, further increasing the risk. So this "definitive" study was harmful to people.

Heart attack is the #1 killer of women (no, not breast cancer). Estrogen helps protect against cardiovascular diseases. So people on a placebo would have been healthier, with less chance of sudden death.

Studies also show it's a potent anti-depressive, and delays the onset of Alzheimers and other dementias. Those are sentences of a slow death. It also reduces or stops suicidal ideation.

It also slows down bone demineralization by enabling the digestive system to take up more calcium (which is why calcium supplementation by itself doesn't work - if your body can't absorb it, you'll just eliminate it). 28% of women and 37% of men who fracture their hip die within one year. Considering that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will get at least 1 hip fracture, that's a significant amount of women who are now at higher risk because of this "greatest study ever."

So even the best studies need to be re-done, because if this study had included a placebo as well as Premarin, and also included other sources of estrogen such as estradiol, Premarin would have been singled out as the biggest contribution to health risk from HRT.

So placebos have a place - they would have saved millions of women from premature death, not endangered them further. That's why we do studies, and why we include placebos. Plus, placebos also work even when the patient is told that it's just a sugar pill. That's why you compare the benefits of a course of treatment with a placebo as well as no treatment. Why prescribe a drug with bad side effects when a placebo performs either as well or better? Not including placebos places people depending on the results of the study to make informed decisions at risk of making bad decisions. Some of those are fatal.

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 1) 448

The farmers won't starve - they're the ones with the food. They only need a small portion of it to feed themselves. 98% of the population depends on them. Do you really think that 98% of the population is going to go out, raid the farms, and then plant the next round of crops? Without that next round, they starve in less than a year. But the farmers will survive.

Same with cattle. Same with chickens. Are they going to take over the chicken farms raising broilers in bulk? Get the eggs every day? Make sure the animals are fed, sheltered, etc? You'd run out of eggs in 2 months. Same with milk. You going to run the slaughterhouses? So forget your bacon as well. Unless the cities are willing to become farmers themselves, leaving their other jobs, ain't gonna happen. And even if they did, they don't have the expertise.

It's not like the National Guard can ensure that farmers don't purposefully screw everything up right under their eyes because mostly they aren't farmers. It owuld be the same if you asked them to watch over programmers to make sure they don't purposefully add bugs.

Comment Re: Here's a real hint (Score 1) 448

Hillary's stand not hypocritical? Really? Green Party donors aren't funding the recount - Clinton supporters are. They've already donated more for the recount than the Greens spent trying to elect Stein.

She went from "you must accept the results - anything less is undemocratic" to supporting a recount that will change nothing (and that has already been admitted to by the Stein camp - this is just a way for Stein to stay relevant a bit longer).

The Courts

French Man Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Visiting Pro-ISIS Websites (theverge.com) 371

According to French media, a court in the department of Ardeche on Tuesday sentenced a 32-year-old man in France to two years in prison for repeatedly visiting pro-ISIS websites -- even though there was no indication he planned to stage a terrorist attack. Police raided his house and found the man's browsing history. They also found pro-ISIS images and execution videos on his phone, personal computer, and a USB stick, an ISIS flag wallpaper on his computer, and a computer password that was "13novembrehaha," referencing the Paris terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead. Slashdot reader future guy shares with us an excerpt from The Verge's report: In court, the man argued that he visited the sites out of curiosity. "I wanted to tell the difference between real Islam and the false Islam, now I understand," he said, according to FranceBleu. But the man reportedly admitted to not reading other news sites or international press, and family members told the court that his behavior had recently changed. He became irritated when discussing religion, they said, and began sporting a long beard with harem pants. A representative from the Ardeche court confirmed to The Verge that there was no indication that the man had any plans to launch an attack. In addition to the two-year prison sentence, he will have to pay a 30,000 euros (roughly $32,000) fine.
The Almighty Buck

South Korea To Kill the Coin in Path Towards 'Cashless Society' (cnbc.com) 241

The central bank in South Korea, one of the world's most technologically advanced and integrated nations, is taking a major step in getting rid of coins in the nation in what is an attempt to become a cashless society. The first step is to get rid of the metal, a feat authorities hope to achieve by 2020. From a report on FT: The Bank of Korea on Thursday announced it will step up its efforts to reduce the circulation of coins, the highest denomination of which is worth less than $0.50. As part of the plan it wants consumers to deposit loose change on to Korea's ubiquitous "T Money" cards -- electronic travel passes that can be used to pay for metro fares, taxi rides and even purchases in 30,000 convenience stores. The proposals are just the latest step for a nation at the forefront of harnessing technology to make citizens' lives more convenient. Online shopping is the norm, as are mobile payments for the country's tech-savvy millennials. South Korea is already one of the least cash-dependent nations in the world. It has among the highest rates of credit card ownership -- about 1.9 per citizen -- and only about 20 percent of Korean payments are made using paper money, according to the BoK. But while convenience is at the crux of the central bank's plan, there are other considerations. The BoK spends more than $40m a year minting coins. There are also costs involved for financial institutions that collect, manage and circulate them.

UK ISPs To Start Sending 'Piracy Alerts' Soon (torrentfreak.com) 66

Beginning next year, internet service providers in the UK will send email notifications to subscribers whose connections have been allegedly used to download copyright infringing content. In what is an attempt to curtail piracy rates, these alerts would try to educate those who pirate about legal alternates. TorrentFreak adds: Mimicking its American counterpart, the copyright alert program will monitor the illegal file-sharing habits of UK citizens with a strong focus on repeat infringers. The piracy alerts program is part of the larger Creative Content UK (CCUK) initiative which already introduced several anti-piracy PR campaigns, targeted at the general public as well as the classroom. The plan to send out email alerts was first announced several years ago when we discussed it in detail, but it took some time to get everything ready. This week, a spokesperson from CCUK's "Get it Right From a Genuine Site" campaign informed us that it will go live in first few months of 2017. It's likely that ISPs and copyright holders needed to fine-tune their systems to get going, but the general purpose of the campaign remains the same.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 130

Plenty of places give a discount for cash - you just have to ask for it. Even some big-box stores. They hate those cash-back credit cards because that "cash back" is also deducted, in addition to the regular credit card merchant fees, and there's no way to tell just by looking at the card what, if any, cash back they're going to be hit for.

What - you thought the credit card companies were giving you that money out of their pockets? They're using their duopoly status to gouge retailers.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 130

"United States coins and currency (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues." Not accepting cash means that the banks take a cut, which means credit card dollars have less value to a creditor than bank notes.

Want to pay Uber in cash? Book a ride to a destination other than where you want to go. When the driver gets there, tell them you'll cancel the ride and pay him cash to take you to your real destination - just like a real taxi service. Think of it as "dark money."

You give a fake destination so that Uber won't see that the driver went to the place the cancelled ride was supposed to go to, so no evidence they were cut out of the loop.

Slashdot Top Deals

Polymer physicists are into chains.